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I have just finished my second week of unemployment, and so might have expected by now to be able to say something about how that feels.  

For the first week, it felt a lot like working. Actually, it felt busier than working, for reasons that were pretty simple to identify. For the last year or so, my work has been following information-technology trends, learning as much as I could about every strange new acronym or product idea or standard, and staring into the middle distance trying to figure out what I thought it all was likely to amount to. You might protest that this does not sound like what most people mean by "work", in that its unproductiveness does not appear to be accomplished with quite enough mindless tedium or deliberately self-deluding idiocy. But it takes a lot of time and thought to do properly, and the last part is difficult.  

The truth, however, is that I was more or less going to do that stuff anyway. Possibly laying me off was thus actually an act of supreme cleverness on the part of my bosses, realizing that I was going to keep doing my job even if they stopped paying me for it. You might think that it kind of makes a difference whether I'm doing this stuff for them or me, but you would be wrong, since I more or less did not report my hypotheses to anybody. Left to my own I'll publish them here, anyway, where they will be far easier to find then they would be in any internal document repository (and, um, I worked for a document repositorifying company...).  

For the first week, then, I was still doing that job, and doing the easily full-time job of writing a new resume, organizing my contact list, sending out a lot of "Hey, now I'm really back in the market for interesting opportunities..." emails, and conducting a crash analysis of job-posting sites and the available tools for dealing with them. By the end of week one I had written no new songs, read less than .2 of a book, watched 3 movies and a soccer game, and, admittedly, spent a very satisfying amount of time trying to see if I could actually annoy our kittens more than they could annoy me. And I was still unemployed, but had one three phone interviews and one in person, and lined up one vaguely possible contracting gig and one more-likely one.  

Week two was a significant improvement. I followed up on a variety of work leads from week one, but spent relatively little time doing that. Instead I wrote two songs, did a remix, finished Gene Wolfe's Book of the Short Sun, spent a while pounding on my friend Pito's RSS reader BlogBridge and sending meddlesome UI suggestions, watched some more movies and some inexplicably compelling Olympic curling, and napped with the cats. That felt much more like unemployment.  

I originally intended my first unemployed act to be drawing up a master plan for my use of my unemployed time. That still seems like a pretty good idea, but I haven't done it yet, and maybe I'll do it next week but maybe I won't. This is my first unemployed period since college, and I want to find out what happens when my brain actually absorbs the idea that inertia is not going to drag me anywhere. Getting a new job might be a perfectly good idea. But there are other ideas, and some of them would require me to be the sort of person who doesn't immediately fill the smallest empty space in his time with lists of how it should be reloaded.
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